Aurora Wetsuits Goes to DEMA 2019
Updated: Feb 28, 2020
One of the highlights of the year for many operators, manufacturers, and retailers in the scuba diving industry is the annual DEMA (Diving Equipment & Marketing Association) show. DEMA is a trade show that allows dive retailers, dive centers, liveaboard operators, fellow professional divers and mermaids to get together. DEMA is THE place to expand your network, build partnerships with fellow traders, and meet other amazing diving professionals from around the world. This year’s show was in Florida, and we (Eliska and Jordan) were excited to attend and showcase Aurora Wetsuits there. DEMA 2019 was Aurora Wetsuits' first ever diving exhibition, so we were looking forward to introducing our range of women’s scuba wetsuits and scuba dive leggings to the women’s diving community on such a prestigious international platform.
The exhibition started with the building of the Aurora stand, and oh boy did that take some planning, having travelled all the way from Thailand! Packing a stand into a suitcase is no easy task, so we got creative by buying what we needed in Orlando when we arrived! After visiting our booth to scout out the space and take some measurements, we took a trip to a local furniture store to get what we needed. Now the real challenge: to build a stand that did all of our colourful women’s scuba wetsuits and diving leggings justice! Again, no easy feat, but after a few hours of moving things back and forward (and back and forward, and then back and forward some more!), a lot of sweat, and hundreds of times asking ourselves ‘have we have it right?’, we were eventually very happy with our efforts and the end result of our first ever Aurora Wetsuits exhibition booth. Definitely a moment to remember for both of us, and the doors hadn’t even opened yet!
DEMA ORLANDO 2019 OPENS
On the first day, we arrived early to double-check we had everything in the right position (we’re quite the perfectionists, in case you hadn’t gathered!) before the event officially opened. We nervously counted down until the doors were open for attendees, not quite knowing what to expect. However, our nerves quickly passed as our first customers came in. Wow, what a reaction! It goes without saying that we are passionate about our women’s wetsuit and scuba leggings ranges, and about our drive to be a more eco-conscious and sustainable brand. So we were blown away by the positive reaction we received…
The bright colours and unique styles of our fun wetsuits and diving leggings really drew people’s attention as they walked by our stand. It was so fulfilling to see the joy in women’s eyes as they realised there is now a choice for them… no more boring black wetsuits! In the words of one new customer, “I am tired of looking like a black seal, one part of my wetsuit fits, the other doesn’t”. We know that many female divers struggle to find a good fit, let alone a nice design in a wetsuit for diving. So knowing that products in our range can be converted to plus size women’s wetsuits was also good news for many women. Indeed, all of the women we met seemed genuinely thrilled at the opportunity to truly express themselves with one of our beautiful designs, with the added bonus of amazing functionality, top quality tailoring, and a female cut. The underlying premise behind us founding Aurora Wetsuits was to allow women to go diving, and look good and feel good about themselves at the same time. So this was fantastic feedback for us, and we are delighted to have converted so many of our stand visitors into Aurora mermaids! We were also very happy to be interviewed by X-Ray Mag, so be sure to watch to the interview to hear more about Aurora Wetsuits from Eliska first hand!
Aside from the brilliant feedback about our women’s shorty wetsuits, women’s long wetsuits, and women’s scuba dive leggings themselves, what really hit home to us was how much people appreciated our brand mentality. All of the amazing women we spoke to were so happy that finally there was a company actively looking for ideas from the female diving community in terms of what they would like out of their wetsuits for diving. We were so thankful for all the feedback and ideas all of those beautiful women divers gave us, as we are passionate about building a brand that openly communicates and listens to customers. It was overwhelming to have such a great response and we were delighted by the positive communication, interaction, and comments on our products. Needless to say, we are excited to build some of those ideas into our next collections, so watch this space!
We also received lots of praise for our environmental passions, which was especially rewarding for us, as we do try our best to be as environmentally conscious as possible. The overall consensus was that it was refreshing to see a company so passionate about growing sustainably. Aside from our commitment to no single-use plastic, the biggest eco hit of the show in this respect was our Bohemian collection (the newest in our design options), which are made from eco-friendly limestone neoprene. Our original Divine and Ocean Spirit collections are made of more durable neoprene. However, what this lacks on the eco side in terms of fabric composition, it makes up in being so durable, that the need to buy another wetsuit again so soon is negated – which in turn reduces waste and the need to recycle neoprene so often. No more baggy, compressed wetsuits, even after extensive diving with Aurora Wetsuits!
THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE
By the end of the four days at DEMA 2019, our hearts could not have been happier and we can’t wait for more trade show opportunities to repeat the experience! It was so great to meet and interact with so many amazing women divers! Plus, another highlight of DEMA is the educational aspect, as there were many seminars we were able to attend (and so we did, of course!). We learned so much on such a varied range of marketing topics, ranging from ideas and how to improve our online presence in general to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) help, and the latest industry trends on YouTube.
EAGER TO KNOW MORE?
In summary, from the beginning stages of planning, up until the doors closed on the final day, we had a fabulous experience. Want to know more? You can get to know us a bit better, and find out more about our DEMA 2019 experience, and some of the other amazing companies we networked with, in our DEMA 2019 Q&A blog.